The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Digital Hand Class Exhibition

Instructor: Tom Lauerman

Digital Hand is a course offered annually in the Sculpture Area which seeks to examine digital fabrication techniques and embed them within more established methods of producing and experiencing objects and installations.

This year the course benefited from a diverse range of Undergraduate and Graduate students from the School of Visual Arts as well as from the Stuckeman School. This class was the first to utilize the new Tech Room in the Sculpture Area, which hardly existed as the semester began and has grown and gained definition as the semester unfolded.

Student projects typically began with drawing and conversation before being filtered through 3D design software and ultimately fabricated using a constellation of tools and techniques new and old. Students worked directly with our new 3D printer, with the laser cutting and CNC milling equipment in the Stuckeman school, and with anachronistic Pen Plotting devices that effectively became obsolete two decades ago.

One of the goals of the class is to consider what is gained and what is lost as we embrace new tools that allow an artist or designer to circumvent significant barriers in the production of objects and experiences. In engaging these technologies the class encountered new problems in production having to do with the limitations of software, hardware, and human/machine relationships.